London - Transgender teenagers are freezing their sperm and eggs on the NHS so they will still be able to start a family after changing sex.
Boys as young as 12 who think they are female are reportedly having their sperm frozen before hormone treatment to ‘block’ puberty.
NHS clinics are also freezing the eggs of girls before they begin taking testosterone, from the age of 16.
Professor Gary Butler, head clinician at Britain’s only NHS service for young people who are unsure about their gender identity, said ‘dozens’ of teenagers are having their sperm frozen. Such children are referred to the NHS Gender Identity Development Service, and receive hormone treatment at University College Hospital in London.
Egg and sperm freezing is done in a similar way to how it is provided for cancer patients. Local clinical commissioning groups decide on funding.
But Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, former chairman of the ethics committee of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, said: ‘With increasing pressure on the NHS and so many essential services not being delivered, where are these funds for fertility treatment coming from?’